TriQuint Semiconductor, a leading RF products manufacturer and foundry services provider, announced that the Office of Naval Research (ONR) has awarded TriQuint a 21-month, $4.5 M contract to advance manufacturing methods used to produce high power, high frequency gallium arsenide (GaAs) amplifiers. TriQuint was chosen based on its experience developing high performance, high reliability amplifiers for a wide range of defense and aerospace applications, according to David Fanning, TriQuint contract program manager.

“Winning this contract demonstrates the government’s confidence in TriQuint’s ability to develop the critical technologies needed for Department of Defense applications. High voltage gallium arsenide is a tested and proven technology that exhibits high reliability using existing processes and materials, ideally suited for military and commercial production programs,” explained Fanning.

He added that TriQuint’s high voltage PHEMT GaAs technology will be the focus of the new ONR program since it provides higher power density (more power per square millimeter of surface area) and efficiency compared to other processes. These performance characteristics are required for critical Navy applications including phased-array radar, electronic warfare and communications systems. TriQuint has been developing high voltage gallium arsenide PHEMT technology since 2000; advanced X-band and S-band versions of that process were developed under previous ONR contracts.

Fanning explained that the new program’s objectives are to extend the use of the high voltage gallium arsenide PHEMT technology to higher frequencies. In the first phase of the program TriQuint will develop a new high frequency, high power device technology and will extract circuit design models. In the second phase, TriQuint will design and fabricate high power monolithic microwave integrated circuits (MMIC). TriQuint is the sole contractor and is performing the work at its Richardson, TX facility.

Remarking about the new contract, Gailon Brehm, TriQuint’s Defense and Aerospace product marketing director, said, “TriQuint currently supplies high volume, cost-effective foundry services and standard products based on both low and high voltage gallium arsenide. This enhanced high frequency technology will extend the capability of our GaAs process family to the higher voltage needed for both military and commercial applications at frequencies above 20 GHz. As such it will provide a new capability intermediate between today’s GaAs and the emerging GaN technology.”

The Office of Naval Research in Arlington, VA is the contracting agency (N00014-08-C-0636) for TriQuint Semiconductor’s latest advanced GaAs research and production development program.